Effective today, the Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) will no longer quarantine library materials. Previously, as a precaution to protect against the spread of COVID-19, these materials were held in isolation for a period of time before returning to circulation.
“The safety of our patrons and staff are our top priority, and throughout this entire process we’ve been in consultation with DHEC and following CDC guidelines,” said CCPL Executive Director Angela Craig.
To ensure the safety and well-being of CCPL’s patrons and staff, library leaders have been in constant communication with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), receiving consultation on operating procedures and practices. In consultation with DHEC, CCPL will no longer quarantine materials. Inside most of our libraries, patrons currently browse and touch materials, which are not quarantined. Therefore, the practice of quarantining returned items does not guarantee total disinfection of our materials. The quarantining of materials disrupts normal library operations by delaying items being checked back into circulation, taking up additional storage space in library facilities, and requiring additional attention from staff members. With handwashing protocols, using hand sanitizer, and most importantly using a mask we do not feel we need to quarantine items at this time.
Though materials are no longer being quarantined, CCPL is still taking numerous precautions to protect its staff and patrons against the spread of COVID-19. Per a Charleston County mandate, patrons are required to wear a mask that fully covers the nose and mouth at all times while inside of a library facility. Also, all CCPL buildings are adhering to occupancy limits, encouraging social distancing, not holding in-person programs or meetings, and more.
“As gathering places for the community, it’s important that we continue to do our part to protect our patrons,” said Craig. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer many of the great services and resources you’ve come to love at your library, in as safe an environment as possible.”
For more information or updates on CCPL operations, visit ccpl.org, contact your local library branch, or connect with the library on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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